The recent release of the Census, in association with other relevant statistics, clearly demonstrates that Canberra is unlike the rest of Australia. It has the highest average incomes, lowest crime rates, lowest proportion of minorities, highest educational achievements, highest rate of literacy, lowest unemployment rate, lowest rate of smoking, best roads, least traffic jams, and most expensive homes.
How can we expect Canberra public servants to understand and empathise with the rest of the country when they are so different? How can we expect them to design and implement policies when they are so out of touch?
Canberra public servants are highly sympathetic to asylum seekers and generally do not support policies that prevent asylum seekers arriving in Australia.
The Commonwealth Government – which has ultimate responsibility for the ACT – should build a large amount of low-cost housing for refugees which would be made available to the asylum seekers provided they agree to remain in Canberra for at least twenty years.
At a stroke, this policy would solve many problems. First, it would make Canberra more representative of the rest of Australia – Canberra’s average income would fall, its crime rate would increase, as would the unemployment rate. Second, it would provide support to Canberra residents who wish to increase Australia’s asylum seeker intake. Third, Canberra’s demographics would become more like other major urban areas.
Many of the new asylum seeker housing developments could be placed in Yarralumla, Red Hill, Forrest, Griffith, Aranda, Fadden etc where the strongest support for asylum seekers may be found.
At last Canberra would become a multicultural hub in Australia, with a dynamic large population of 1 million plus, much as was intended when Canberra was originally planned.